Fiji went to the polls on 14 November 2018. The incumbent FijiFirst Party won a narrower victory than expected, with just over 50 per cent of the vote. The main opposition party, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), increased its vote share from 28 per cent in 2014 to almost 40 per cent. While six parties contested, just three — FijiFirst, the Social Democratic Liberal Party of Fiji (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) — won seats in the next parliament.
Women were key players in the 2018 election as both voters and candidates. While women have historically been under-represented in Fijian politics, the 2018 election brought a record number into parliament, where women now hold 10 of the 51 seats. This In Brief examines how women candidates performed in the election and what lessons this might hold for further increasing women’s participation in politics in the future.